Luxe Bomber: Worth the Wait

This little gem took me months and months to make, but the actual sewing took only a few weeks to complete. My biggest weakness when it comes to sewing is starting a wonderful and exciting new project, then something else shiny (or someone who’s paying) comes along and I set it aside for far too long. This baby was exactly one of those scenarios.

I love making jackets. They are a big part of my wardrobe and can be easy to sew. They are even easier to sew if you’ve made the same one before, as I did for this bomber jacket pattern. I used Simplicity 8418 pattern for the second time to create this beauty, and it is certainly not the last time.

Now, for the ingredients that make this recipe top notch, I used beautiful silk material, quality threads, and smart sewing techniques. The main fabric for this version I decided to finally use an end remnant of gorgeous silk jacquard labeled from Chanel that I won years ago in a fabric giveaway and was stashing for a special project. I also happened to have enough of a piece of silk lining-weight material in the perfect shade of purple to coordinate with the colors of the Chanel silk, also in my stash (If you don’t know me already, I have a very healthy stash of fabric in my possession).

Of course, I also had Pinterest to add to the inspiration for this creation, which made the decision to cut into this beautiful material more bearable, because after all, you only life once and you can’t take it with you. Here are just a few of the bomber jackets that inspired me:

I got right to cutting out the pattern pieces from the main fabric and the lining, as well as the light weight batting I used to quilt the silk to. The last time I made this pattern, I quilted the entire lining and left the outer side as it were. This time, I wanted the quilting to be part of the texture of the outer garment.

Well, I quilted part of the back of the jacket, and that’s about the time when I got busy with other pressing projects, paying clients, and teaching others to sew, so the jacket partially made and the cut pattern pieces was gently laid aside on the “to be continued” pile. There it sat patiently for months.

Fast forward to October of 2021 when I was planning to attend a conference that involved the professional sewing guild that I belong to, Association of Sewing and Design Professionals or ASDP for short.https://sewingprofessionals.com/. I knew that I wanted to wear garments that I had made to the convention and had a long wish list that I had wanted to create, but for the sake of time, and to tackle my growing pile of UFO’s that stare at me when I’m in my sewing room, and seem to beg for me to just work on them just a little bit, I revisited the silk bomber project and decided it would be a fantastic option for the convention.

Hence, the sewjo for this project sparked a new light in me and I got right back into the groove of quilting this baby and getting it going in time for the convention. Whatever the motivation was, it worked and I pulled through and finished the jacket in time to wear it a couple of times even before having to pack it up and fly to Boise, Idaho for the sewing pro retreat.

Well, the convention was amazing and I got a ton of compliments on my jacket which I was proud (and perfectly comfortable) to wear. Now I call that a job well done and worth the wait!

Red is The Color of Love

It’s been far too long since I have posted anything here on my beloved blog, so I thought it was time to update and refresh with a quick post. What better way to do that with a bright and exciting project that I made for myself for our first wedding anniversary!

So, here she is:

Red maxi dress with flutter sleeve and sash

I cut out and sewed this dress in three days during time after work hours and the weekend before our dinner date, so it was a bit of a rush job. Due to lack of time and general dressmaking laziness, I didn’t make a mock-up, I just went by my body measurements, comparing to the pattern measurements, and a mini tissue fitting (essentially holding the pattern tissue up to myself and eyeballing what I needed to adjust). I added 4 inches to the skirt length knowing I wanted it to be long enough to wear with heels and for it to be floor length. I may add more length next time so it really touches the ground. I also fully lined it (the pattern instructs to just line the bodice) and made French seams for the skirt side seams.

I just love how this dress turned out! It was so comfortable to just slip into, strap on some heels, a pretty necklace and earrings, a dab of Miss Dior perfume at my neck, and DONE!

Yes, I realize that I match my front door.

I used this Simplicity 8832 sewing pattern, view C, for this dress. I just love the simplicity of this pattern (ha, haa, meant to do that) and the lines of the dress design:

Line drawings of Simplicity 8832 pattern

What I am NOT so crazy about is how they styled the pattern cover. I think they could have chose a different fabric, or had multiple versions made up in different fabrics, to show off the designs of this pattern:

Simplicity 8832 Sewing Pattern Cover

I hope that I am not coming off as a snob. My apologies if I am offending anyone, but I just looks a tad, I don’t know, “old lady shower curtain” to me in this particular fabric:

Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful floral fabric for a light and airy dress such as this, but I was going for a look more like this:

Dark green floral dress

Or even this:

Gorgeous burgundy velvet dress

I suppose I can chalk this one up as a wearable test dress and can plan to make it again in a more luxe fabric for the next time. That is part of the beauty of knowing how to sew and make your own clothes. You get to be the designer and create your own vision! I just love that about sewing and it brings me a great deal of joy and satisfaction.

Meanwhile, happy first anniversary to my loving, cutie-pie husband! It’s been a wonderful first year and I look forward to many, many more!

Back to the drawing board and up to the sewing room as I have a few exciting new client projects that I am working on. Yay!!!

Luxe Leopard Coat

I had Dior in mind as I made this coat, with the yummy brushed wool fabric, the sumptuous silk satin lining, and the classic, tailored details, all brought me back to an era of glamor and sophistication of the 1940’s and ‘50’s.

Leopard print coat

I initially started making this coat back in October 2020, taking the time to ask my friends on Instagram which lining color they liked with the print. I ultimately chose bright red as I thought it had the best “pop”, but any one of them would have been gorgeous!

My favorite lining options for my coat, all choices in silk:

Well, as usual for me, I eagerly started working on sewing up this gorgeous coat using Butterick 6385 pattern buy cutting out the pattern tissue, tissue fitting myself to check fit, cutting out the fashion fabric, the lining and a flannel underlining for warmth. I even made a few of the first seams, including the pockets (which end up being way too small.

Note to self: next time, make the pockets bigger!

Butterick 6385 pattern from Lisette

I chose view C with the stand up collar and the rectangle pocket flap of view A.

I got to cutting out all the pattern pieces before I realized that there was a good chunk of fabric missing from the upper sleeve that would leave a huge gaping hole if I attempted to ignore it, and I didn’t have enough of the fabric left to cut the piece again. To boot, the fabric store where I got the fabric also didn’t have any of exactly the same fabric left in stock. Grrr!

So, with the air deflated out of my sewjo, I rolled up what I had done so far, and added the coat components and pattern to my “to be continued” pile and there it sat for a better part of a year. “Le Sigh”

As part of my new life goals that I have set for myself recently, at least my sewing life goals, I want to tackle my unfinished projects, finish them, and clear the decks (and my mind) to focus on new personal and client projects to work on. So, with autumn in the air and this project staring me in the face and making me feel guilty about wasting time and resources, I figured out how to fill in the missing chunk at the sleeve by using fabric glue (gasp!) and scraps from the cuttings which I always save, and got right back into making this coat

Sewing the lining, which I serged all of the edges when I originally cut out the pattern. Thank goodness I did because this silk stuff frays like a mofo

I sewed and sewed with newfound energy for this coat, staying up late and ignoring my hungry husband. He’d survive, but I couldn’t until this darn coat was DONE!

Here’s a shot of the coat just before installing the lining, showing the interior interfacing and underlining in camel flannel for warmth and extra stability to the fashion fabric

Flannel underlining and interfacing inside the coat just before adding the lining.

I skipped the shoulder pads and sleeve heads as I felt I really don’t need them, however that is one step that I probably should have done. Next time…

Setting in the lining and going the finishing touches on the coat, some by hand, was starting to turn the corner and approach the end. I took a good amount of time pressing and pinning this baby into submission, all which made it easier to sew and have professional looking results:

Hand sewing some parts always looks better (my sausage fingers would not agree)

After finally finishing the coat, sewing buttonholes and buttons, I was finally DONE!

Aren’t those buttons cute? They kind of look like the spots on the leopard print!
The red silk lining makes my heart happy!

I knew that I wanted to take some great photos of this creation for sharing on social media, and have many examples and inspiration photos from my Pinterest page such as these images:

I asked my dear fashionista friend if I could borrow a few of her gorgeous designer handbags for the photos and she was so sweet and generous to lend me some of her favorites for a few days. I narrowed down the options to these three I’m accessorizing with the coat:

A gorgeous Loewe structured tote in camel
A classic quilted Yves St Laurent chain handle
bag in black
A stunning Sophie Holme red clutch

I’ll just shut up now and let Her speak for herself…

Aaaaand, scene….

Ok, I’m now ready, the decks are clear for takeoff…

Floral Silk Girly Dress

Whenever I have been invited to an occasion, the first thing I think of is “what am I going to wear?”. The next thing I think of is “what can I sew for myself to wear” as I love to make clothing and I love wearing things that are unique and nobody else has in their closet. From there, I pull up my pattern stash archive, pay a visit to my fabric stash (or the fabric store if I really don’t have the appropriate fabric to work with) and get started planning and sewing my outfit.

For this occasion, I was invited to a wedding of a lovely bridal alterations client who had become a friend over our many dress fittings and consultations of her beautiful wedding gown. The major part of her dress that I altered was her complicated and intricate bustle of her train that I she dreamed up and I created for her. Originally, as I fiddled and fussed to get her train bustled just right at one of her fittings, I said to her “I’ll just hide in the bushes at your wedding venue, you give me the signal when you are ready, and I’ll sneak out and help you bustle, then disappear back into the bushes and let you be on your way to the reception”. She would have none of that and insisted that I attend the wedding as her guest, and enjoy the entire ceremony plus be ready to bustle…DEAL!

So, being the alteration seamstress of honor at this wedding, I just had to have something special and handmade to wear! Not having all the time in the world to be sewing for myself with the very busy post-Covid wedding season upon us and other alterations and custom sewing client projects literally piling up in my sewing studio, I decided to make a dress that I have made before (a huge time and energy saver!) and use fabric that I had in my stash from Mill End Store in Portland, OR.

I pulled out this lovely pattern from Butterick that I had already cut out and made fit alterations to the pattern for a dress that I made a couple of years ago:

Butterick 6554 pattern

I made view C, the halter neck, ruffled and flounce dress that wraps and ties to the side.

This time around, I decided to fully line the dress (instead of using the bodice facing from the pattern), meaning I cut out the entire dress, the bodice and the skirt pieces, less the flounces, in both the outer, floral silk georgette fabric and the silk lining that I also had in my fabric stash. Cutting silk, especially sheer, floaty slippery silk, is NOT easy if you’ve ever tried. It slips all over the place and misbehaves in as many ways as it can, just to drive you nuts and practically give up before you even started. But, since it was SO pretty and soft, I did my best to battle it and tackle it into submission, knowing in the end it was going to be incredible and worth it all.

The silk draped so innocently on my dress form
Anchored down and ready to cut!

So the sewing begins!

Making a tiny hem to the ruffled edge

It all went pretty well and the fact that I had made it before, I knew what to expect from the pattern instructions.

The most difficult and time consuming part was making the narrow hem on the long outside edge of the flounce that would be attached at the bottom of the skirt. Check out this pattern piece that is over 110 inches long. Yikes!

After tackling that beast, the dress was nearly done and I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Having a major deadline to hit, and other clients banging down my door and begging me to help them with their last-minute bridal requests, I finished up my dress and just got ‘er done.

One last thing I added to the dress was lightweight foam bra cups sewn into the bodice lining as that sheer stuff certainly wasn’t going to hide my bits. Thank goodness I had some on hand in my supply stash and I was able to swiftly hand sew them into my dress, no problem! Confidence boosters for boobs-horray!

Bra cups sewn in saved any wardrobe malfunctions!

I just have to share the insides of the dress with the lovely silk lining!

Here I cheated and used my serger to attach the waist of the bodice to the skirt and hide the raw edges.
The skirt lining that ends just above the flounce

So off we went to the wedding, leaving enough time to stop at one of our favorite spots in the wine country of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, The Allison Inn and Spa, to snap some photos and have a glass of champagne and a light cheese plate before the wedding. Perfect!

Let’s go up there, that’s where the champagne is served!
The lovely snack we shared over a glass of wine and champagne!
Watch that breeze!

As much as I enjoy the entire process of making a new dress, it feels so good to be done with this one, wear it to a fun wedding (and not have to hide in the bushes!) and hang it up on my wardrobe for another occasion.

Until next time, cheers!

A Goddess Bride in the Making

I was overjoyed to have been contacted by an acquaintance to create a custom wedding gown for her elegant and opulent wedding happening in October of 2019. Dione is a lovely boss-lady who has a bold sense of fashion and an arresting beauty, so of course, I was super excited to have the opportunity to create something unique for her wedding dress!

We started with ideas, concepts and visions of what she wanted for her gown.

She was going for BIG, BOLD and DRAMATIC!

She shared these images with me for her visions of the gown:

The High/Low hem and embellishments of this dress really caught her eye.
She loved the embellishment details of this dress, and the volume of the ballgown

So I got to work right away coming up with concepts that I would be able to create and achieve with the skills that I had.

I made some fashion sketches and shared them with her:

And the fittings began!

I started with this McCalls 7720 sewing pattern for the shape of the bodice, and possibly the skirt too if I could get the fullness:

McCalls 7720 pattern

I ended up just using the bodice of the pattern and draping the skirt.

At first, she wanted to have a tulle underskirt to wear for the wedding ceremony, then take off the underskirt to reveal the underside of the hem and her fabulously shapely legs. Here is a raw version of the dress mocked up in muslin with a tulle skirt underneath for fullness:

I perfected the fit of the bodice easily on her slim torso, so that was easy. It was getting the skirt length, fit and drape just right that was the major challenge:

Here she is, in the dress, cut in the satin, pinned up to make the hemline as we wanted
Placing the motifs with the tulle underneath
And with a couple of the fancy gold trim motif’s pinned to the front.
And more trim…

At the next fitting, I had pinned the gold trim all around the skirt and we tried this on for fun (meanwhile, we were moving into a new house, was planning our own wedding, and I was making my own dress, so please excuse the chaos of my sewing room):

Nice, but we weren’t happy with the back length at all so I kinda had to start over.

OK so fast forward, I was starting to admire my work as I worked late into the night up in my new sewing loft. I had a bodice, a skirt, and it was starting to look like a real wedding gown.

Playing with the pleat formation

Once we had the shape decided, I started the tedious task of sewing on all of the gold trim on, one motif at a time, with this annoying, yet beautiful, gold metallic thread. I was married by now, so I could put the making of MY dress out of my head and focus on Di’s dress:

Then, it was on to sewing the lining to the outside of the dress, all by hand:

Can’t lie, this was tedious…

Finally, the dress was done and ready for the final fitting! (Again, please excuse the pile of junk shoved in the corner, I was BUSY!)

Get ready for chills up your spine….

Photo: Dina Chmut Photography
I can’t…SO HOT!!! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography

Sums it all up: BAD-ASS BEAUTY! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography
With her handsome groom Howard, LOVE! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography
Those legs go on for miles! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography
YESSS!!!! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography

We had a BLAST at the wedding! It was a a huge, black tie event, so of course I had to throw together another dress to wear to it as the official dressmaker to the bride!

I just threw this together in a few days to wear to the wedding, no biggie..
Ready to go!
We were honored to attend the grand affair!

What an honor it was to create such a special gown for Dione! She was a lot of fun to work with and so great to get to know better. I loved EVERY minute of the process (ok, maybe not the hand sewing part) and am delighted to have had the opportunity.

CONGRATS!!! You’re a Goddess living amongst us!

Love! Photo: Dina Chmut Photography

The Ultimate Dress: My Own Wedding Gown!

It all began when my sweetheart popped the question back in early December 2018. I knew then, and even before then, that I wanted to design and sew my own wedding dress. I love weddings and all of the lovely elements of a wedding: the flowers, the music, the gathering of family and friends to celebrate love, and of course, the dress!

The wedding gown carries that special purpose for a bride. It should highlight her personality, her uniqueness, her beauty and make her feel like the star of the day.

Once the word was out, my close girlfriends could not wait to go wedding dress shopping with me. I made appointments to try on gowns at a couple of local bridal salons and invited my girl gang along for the occasion, with one condition: I was just looking for inspiration and was absolutely NOT buying a dress! I was determined to make my dress no matter what!

I tried on some gorgeous gowns, all while trying to sneak a look at the construction and sewing methods of my favorites. I found that my favorite look was a sleeveless, low V-neckline gown with a fitted trumpet skirt, all in lace. Nothing poofy, simple and clean, maybe a vintage vibe to it. Something achievable to create and practical to wear.

One dress that I really liked (and tried on several times) was this gown from Willoby named “Corella”:

11-corella-willouby-gown-0

I tried this gown on at The English Department, surrounded by my wonderful friends, who captured this image of me in this swoon-worthy gown:

img_3283

I knew that I could recreate this look with the right fabric, lining and pattern as it is a relatively simple design with not a lot of complicated seams or construction details.

So, I got to work right away with finding a pattern to start with and most importantly, the perfect fabric to work with.

I found some commercial patterns to start with, knowing that I’d have to  make several changes and adjustments to it for fit and to achieve the look I was going for. I started with this dress pattern from Simplicity, which also happened to be designed by Leanne Marshall, a young woman from the Portland, Oregon area who won Project Runway Season 5. How cool is that!

simplicity-leanne-marshall-pattern-8596-envelope-front

Simplicity 8596

I really liked the low V-neckline, front and back, of the bodice of this dress as you can see in the line drawings of this pattern:

simplicity-leanne-marshal-8596-front-back-view

I wasn’t as keen on the skirt of this pattern as I wanted something simple and straightforward, which probably could have achieved by eliminating the seams and flounces of the skirt, but I didn’t want to do that much work, so I kept looking. I found this Simplicity pattern in their Prom line of patterns and thought it would be a perfect base for the skirt:

simplicity-mermaid-skirt-pattern-8597-envelope-front

Simplicity 8597

simplicity-mermaid-skirt-pattern-8597-av5

simplicity-mermaid-skirt-pattern-8597-front-back-view

View A was perfect with the train for my gown

After purchasing the patterns (on sale for $1.99 each, thank you very much Joann Fabrics!), I made an appointment with one of the best ladies in Portland who could help me with the fit and construction, Marla Kazell. 

I have taken many sewing lessons with Marla and her equally-awesome sewing teacher/partner Elizabeth Miles at Mill End Store in Beaverton during their Open Sewing lessons. I knew that Marla had the skills, experience and sewing knowledge to help me make the best gown possible. Paying her was the best money spent as I learned SO much about fitting and construction that I will use for many projects in the future for years to come.

Marla and I got to work doing a tissue fitting of the patterns, a couple of muslin fittings, and fabric cutting and construction consultations until I was 100% comfortable and confident with moving forward with the sewing.

8e92afc8-0b1b-45e8-931f-0a12eaa75f8c

snapping a selfie at Marla’s studio

After shopping around the Portland area fabric stores, I just couldn’t find the perfect fabric that wasn’t stupid expensive or enough yardage for the dress (I needed about 8 yards), so I decided that I needed to visit the next closest place for great fabric options-Los Angeles!

With my pattern, sketches in my Fashionary notebook,

3c2435ab-5bff-4b38-9130-059eaba084c5

and an empty carry-on suitcase, I took the day and flew to LA (only about a 2 hour flight from PDX) and hit  Mood Fabrics. Good idea!

31851d82-37cd-46e4-815f-3c32e8e30a5c

 

 

I spend the better part of the day at Mood, with my pattern and sketches handy, finding a friendly and patient store worker to help me with my hunt. The young lady who helped me (her name escapes me) was so sweet, patient and happy to help me. She pulled out heavy bolts of fabric, shlepped it around the store, and helped me to decide on the best choice. She even helped me pick the lining material, notions and fabric for my veil that I was also planning to make.  Thank you Mood!

fd26b843-1d65-4434-a029-b96fd7058bd4

img_1826

Not cheap, or lightweight, but the perfect fabric for a wedding gown and SO worth the trip!

img_1825

Can’t forget the netting for the veil!

I got to work planning out the layout for the lace as the pattern repeated in a certain way and had the edge that I wanted to keep for the train:

img_2382

9ec375fb-a2a0-44b0-ad56-0d438a6aeeda

c5df9b44-063f-499a-a2ca-e90fb6adf2a6

Once I cut the pattern pieces, I pinned them like they were to be sewn and draped it on my dress form. I was immediately in love and felt a rush of excitement!

img_2385

Gasp!

The fittings with Marla continued, each time getting closer and closer to the Big Day and the Big Reveal (I was hiding all of this the entire time from my future husband’s curious eyes!)!

img_2437

Fast forward, it was only a few days until the wedding day! Luckily, my crafty sister Donna was here several days leading up to the wedding and helped me to do some final fitting and offered to help make my veil. She was a wonderful help in making it all happen, even though she didn’t know how to use my sewing machine (at least not well), she could cut out the net of the veil and hand sew. Thanks to YouTube, we found some tutorials on making a veil that were fast and easy. She watched, cut, hand sewed, and I machine sewed the fine soutache trim around the edge of the veil. Easy peasy!

My other sister Lisa arrived a couple of days before the wedding and helped me decide on the drape of the bustle along with my cousin Heather. I couldn’t have done it without them!

img_2687

img_2686

The wedding day came up so fast! I was ready though, ready to wear the gown that took me months to plan and create, all with great joy, pride and love for my future husband.

img_2734

Here I pose with my sister Donna and my cousin Heather. Don’t they look marvelous too!

Here comes the bride!

img_1188

 

img_1203

The veil!

img_1231

My Ladies in Waiting bustling the back of my train

img_2801-1

Newlyweds!

Happily ever after!

img_2736

aaaand, scene….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady in Red

My latest creation is my favorite creation so far! It all began with falling in love with the fabric while walking through Joann Fabrics:

Red Floral Embroidered Mesh

Embroidered Floral Mesh from Joann Fabrics

I just HAD to have some of this fabric to make into a great dress as it reminded me of the couture embroidered designs of current collections as Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta or Dolce & Gabana:

Or dresses from the past such as these from Christian Dior:

Vintage CD dresses on exhibit

I saw these dresses (and many more) at the Dior exhibit in Paris in 2017-breathtaking!

Of course, the Joann fabric is nowhere NEAR the detailed hand embroidered and embellished fabrics from these designers, but it has the look of the fabric in essence.

I started to imagine what I was going to create from this fabric with this classic pattern from Vogue choosing view C, the strapless dress with a full midi-length skirt:

Vogue 8766

From there, I cut out the bodice pattern pieces and giant skirt pieces from the embroidered fabric, the red underlining and another layer of lining in black Bemberg rayon, all purchased from Joann Fabrics.

Constructing the dress was really not all that difficult. The only part that I took extra time and attention to do was to cut out and around some of the floral motifs of the bodice in order to later overlay the motif back over the seam once the seam was sewn. I only did this for a couple of spots on the front of the bodice as I felt that it would look much better on the finished dress instead of just cutting through a large flower. I realize that this may sound confusing, but if you saw the dress up close, you’d see what I mean.

In this photo, you can somewhat see how the flower motifs get cut off and trapped into the seam, so I did my best to cut around the large ones on the center front panel of the bodice and leave them “free” as I sewed the seam, then sewed them back down and over the seam with tiny hand stiches later:

img_1654

The strapless bodice under construction

Boning came next. I followed the pattern instructions and sewed boning only into the side seams of the bodice. I thought this might not be enough support for the dress and skirt, but I just stuck to it knowing that I also planned to add a waist stay inside the dress to help hold it up and in place.

My fiancé Tom was sweet enough to help me do the final fittings of the dress and help me hem it too. He says he loves to help, I think it makes him feel like he is part of the creative process. How cute is that?!

img_1700

Tom helps fit the back of my dress before putting in the zipper 🙂

Gidget wants to participate too by sitting on my dress right before I sit on the couch to do some hand sewing. Also quite cute:

img_1702

What? Nothing to see here…Ignore the dead squirrel toy in the background

The inside of this dress came out pretty nicely too, with the smooth and shiny black lining, it slipped on with ease!

IMG_E1721

img_1722

The waist stay made from a strip of grosgrain ribbon and hook & eye was the perfect support for this dress

I was so excited about my latest creation that I just had to get some photos of it as soon as it was complete so that I could share it with the world! (Or at least, my little world!)

img_1716

My new dress is complete!

V8766 Red Dress 13

She’s so twirl-worthy!

V8766 Red Dress 14

I got a little dizzy twirling so much!

V8766 Red Dress 20

This fabric!

Vogue 8766 pattern

 

V8766 Red Dress 7

I feel like a princess in this dress!

Now, I’m off to tidy up my sewing room and get started on the next project. Ciao for now!

Something Blue

I recently got engaged to the love of my life and am on top of the world! We plan to get married soon, possibly as soon as this summer, and I have been delighted to begin thinking of what wedding dress (or dresses!) I would like to design and sew for the occasion. One part of wedding sewing, at least for me, includes lingerie and all the pretties the go along with bridal attire. and honeymoon festivities!

What better to get the sewing mojo going than an unfinished sewing project, 50% complete, that will be easy to finish and spark the beginning of more intimate and special things to make for the wedding. Especially now since one of my new year’s resolutions is to finish what I started, and to write more blog posts too!

I ordered this sewing pattern nearly a year ago from the shop All The Precious Things on Etsy:

index

The only alteration I made to the pattern before cutting it out of the silk was to add 2″ to the length of the front and back pieces as I felt it was a wee bit too short and may show off a little more than I desired.

So, I began sewing this lovely little cobalt blue silk negligee once again, taking the time to pin the sections together and carefully apply the lace to the cups and hems of the silk pieces of the slip:

img_1238

 

img_1242

The pieces came together fairly fast and easy, with only a front, back, cups and straps to make, plus adding the lace trim.

img_1243

 

After a couple of French seams for the sides, a more difficult seam for attaching the cups to the front, and some careful machine and hand sewing on the slippy bias-cut silk, the slip was complete.

img_e1253

Stay tuned for more pretties! Happy New Year!

 

The Bomb-er

 

I’ve always wanted to own a bomber jacket. There is something cool and so easy about them, for all sexes and ages. I suppose that are a combination of an aviator jacket and a varsity jacket, and are seen everywhere in fashion nowadays.

The opportunity and time to make one for myself when we decided against dressing up and going out for Halloween this year as we had made previous plans for a double date with another couple the one good night for going out on the town. That disappointed me a bit as I was looking forward to making us costumes and going to a party or event, however, left me with some time (and fabric money) to make something else instead. So I chose a bomber jacket!

I picked up this sewing pattern a couple of months ago and started finding information online about the pattern and who had sewn it:

simplicity-bomber-jacket-pattern-8418-envelope-front

I learned that many sewists had really enjoyed making this pattern and it had rave reviews on PatternReview.com.

Some had even taken gone one step further and made the jacket reversible! I thought, if they could do that, why couldn’t I? So I went for it and made it happen!

I gathered up what materials I wanted to make the jacket out of, including the cotton camouflage print fabric and the flannel-backed satin for the two sides of the fabric and lining, the 2-way metal zipper (I ended up using a different zipper than the one shown in the photo below), and the gold metallic thread of which I planned to quilt the satin lining:

I got to work cutting out the two sides as I knew the quilting would be the most time-consuming and wanted to get to it as soon as possible. I spent a good amount of time making chalk lines of the quilting pattern I wanted on the jacket front and back pieces of the satin side before sewing it to the batting and creating the quilting pattern:

front quilting lines

The quilting was somewhat of a slow and careful sewing process. My sewing machine didn’t get along so well with the metallic thread (yes, I used the right kind of needle and tension on my machine!) and caused some technical difficulties, but with some patience and rethreading the machine many times, we eventually got through it together.

I decided to leave the sleeves of the satin sides smooth and un-quilted to avoid any “you look so, um, puffy today” comments when wearing the jacket with the satin side out. I think that was a great decision plus a huge time saver.

Sewing the rest of the jacket was pretty much a breeze, including the two-piece raglan sleeves, the pockets and even the ribbed knit collar, waistband and cuffs:

IMG_0475

the front pieces sewn to the back

 

IMG_0479

The sleeves sewn to the front and back

IMG_0480

I basted the zipper in by hand before machine sewing it in for the most control of this “touchy” bit of the process:

IMG_0481

Then, sewn by machine:

IMG_0483

Before long, I was on the home stretch doing my final top stitching using my edge stitching foot (one of my favorite machine feet!) on the front opening edge of the jacket and she was about done!

IMG_0484

I was thinking that I would like to add some cool embroidered patches to my bomber jacket, but didn’t come across any ones I liked in time, so I figured I could always add some and sew them on by hand if I come across any  the I like in the future. Meanwhile, I LOVE my new bomber jacket and am so excited to wear it, and inside out!

IMG_0509

IMG_0501

THE BOMB!

 

PS and disclaimer: this post has no affiliation with the crazy-ass bomber who was just arrested for mailing bombs to prominent Trump critics! Just say’n…

Watercolors in Silk

I just love a great watercolor painting, how the colors softly flow into each other, creating emotion with how they blend together to evoke a mood.

Speaking of Mood, the renown fabric store in New York, Los Angeles, and online at MoodFabrics.com, the store where the Project Runway design contestants run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find fabric, trim, notions and inspiration (and hopefully a lucky Swatch sighting), all within a ridiculous 30 minutes, is running a series of contests using their fabrics. I thought how fun it would be, and also a challenge for me, to order some silk and whip up something for their MoodMadeSilk18 contest by the deadline of today, April 30th, 2018.

I went ahead and ordered 2 yards of this gorgeous watercolor floral silk chiffon and was even happier when it arrived!

IMG_E8948

Isn’t it SO pretty?!

I gave it a gentle wash and laid it flat to dry, then got to smoothing it all out perfectly on grain and ready to be cut:

IMG_8951

I thought this would be a perfect fabric for this pattern view A from McCall’s that I had recently acquired from their new Spring ’18 collection:

M7747_a

Pinterest is one of my favorite resources to find inspiration and ideas for sewing (also for cooking, art and other ideas). I found a couple of flouncy cold shoulder tops and pinned them for inspiration and thought, “I could make something like that, easy!”

floral cold shoulder long sleeve top                                             coral flounce cold shoulder top

So, I proceeded to do just that!

By taking measurements of the flat pattern and comparing them to my own body measurements, I knew that the torso would need to be lengthened in order to not feel too short on me when done, so I altered the pattern and added one inch to the front and back pieces using the “slash and spread” method (sorry, that sounds kinda dirty) before cutting the top out of fabric:

With the top only being a few pattern pieces, it went together fairly quickly, not including the pain-in-the-assery of working with silk chiffon, of course. For one thing, I had to carefully mark the wrong sides of the fabric as I went along so that I didn’t sew them incorrectly:

IMG_8973

Plus, make French seams on most seams since the fabric is so sheer and frays like a beeotch:

IMG_8982

sewing seam part #2 of a French seam

I decided that the fabric of the top was SO sheer that I would feel indecent prancing around in this with all of my “stuff” showing underneath, so I ran out and bought enough additional silk chiffon in a deep navy to layer under the print to create some opacity:

The top took me a little over a week to completely cut out and sew in my free time, so that was not too bad. I love the flounce and halter neck, and the fabric most of all on this top.

As for pattern changes, I left off the elastic at the waist, and didn’t add the zipper as the pattern suggests as I think that would be too much weight for this super delicate and sheer material. I also skipped the facing and sewed the lining in it’s place for a much better finish to the edge and to combat some of the sheerness.

IMG_8983

Detail of the French seam made on the flounce piece

I am not 100% sold on this pattern as I feel the fit is a tad “off” and the cold shoulder is really, really cold showing so much skin. It is way too big in the underarm as it turns out and shows off a good deal of side boob here. Making a dart here to take up some space is not going to work on the finished top (note to self: make more pattern alterations in this area, and maybe try a muslin too, before cutting into spendy materials like this, silly girl Steph!) so for now, I think I’ll make up a coordinating bra or a panel on the side to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions…

DSC_0315

Don’t look now, but your side boob is showing…

I finished the top just in time to throw it on, slap on some makeup, do something to tame (or tease?) my crazy hair, and have my sweet and patient man snap some photos of me to post on my Instagram with the hashtag #MoodMadeSilk18 to enter the contest by the deadline. I would love to win the $100 gift card to Mood as the winning prize, but there are some other amazing garments that sewists have made with silk from Mood for this contest, so I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t win. Just making stuff and challenging myself is fun for me!

DSC_0325_2

DSC_0327

 

THANK YOU MOOD!!! Say “hi” to Swatch for me!